- Feral cats can minimize rodent problems, keeping their populations in check and discouraging new rodents from moving into the area. Worried about the birds? Well, studies have shown that cats prey on rodents, insects, and reptiles far more than birds. Habitat loss and encroachment by humans is the primary threat to bird populations, and raccoons and opossums are the primary predators of nesting birds. Feral cats benefit the ecosystem more than harming it.
- People who help care for feral cat colonies can enjoy the same benefits as having a companion animal, such as extended life expectancy, lower blood pressure, and lower stress levels.
- Feral cat caretakers are often elderly and live alone, a population at risk for depression, loneliness, and isolation. Cats relieve these conditions and often bring a sense of happiness and purpose to people who help them.
- Individuals who cannot commit to the full-time commitment of adopting a companion animal can participate in programs to help feral cats.
- An established, stable, vaccinated, and sterilized colony of feral cats deters other stray and feral cats from moving into the area. This decreases the risk of humans and pets encountering unvaccinated cats, and will virtually eliminate problem behaviors like fighting and spraying.
- Feral cats can improve public health when the supervised colony is vaccinated against rabies. These vaccinated feral cats act as a buffer (safety barrier) between the wildlife who might carry rabies and the domestic neighborhood cats who have the most contact with humans.
Many towns in our valley attempt to remove feral cat colonies by trapping and killing them, but doing this simply reopens the territory to the other cats who will move in to repopulate the area. Simply put, killing feral cats doesn't get rid of the perceived "problem" of feral cats. Instead, it just perpetuates the problem while ending lives and costing more money than humane options!
Trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs--where feral cats are humanely trapped, altered, and released--have been shown to be the most effective method to deal with feral cat colonies. The American Veterinary Medical Association and many other animal welfare organizations support TNR programs over euthanasia because they WORK.
Support TNR programs and save lives!